From the archive…again, the kids are growing up too fast.
Lovely family day today.
The weather looked promising, so we made the decision to take our gang, minus our world travelin' Kyla, south to Girdwood, a lovely hamlet nestled in the mountains. I have fantasies of resettling in Girdwood, but know that the absence of a local grocery store would tax my advance meal planning capabilities. So, we make a visit when we can.
The first full weekend in July is the annual Girdwood Forest Fair, a truly charming event, with a little something for everyone, from wanna-be Rastafarian youths to, well, subarctic suburbians. You can check it out (don't miss the photos) here: http://www.girdwoodforestfair.com/
The fair is a marketplace, with all the booths selling "Made in Alaska" goods, many of them quite creative. There are two stages featuring live music and other random acts. There are kids' activities, tons of food booths, and a rockin' beer garden (the "Vibe Patrol," in kilts, will check your ID when you enter and remove you if you are misbehaving.)
We've made it our tradition to attend the Forest Fair each year, and last year we added a pre-Forest Fair hike. That went over so well, we decided to repeat the experience, on a different trail. The location for this year's journey was the Winner Creek Trail, which begins behind the local ski resort hotel. It was to be about a 5 mile round trip journey, and relatively level, ending at a "hand tram" (which turned out to be a wee bit different than what we had pictured in our heads) over water at the end.
Like I said, the trail begins behind the resort, and for that reason, it's as groomed and well maintained a trail as one can find in Alaska. Positively Disney-fied, at least for the first mile and a half. It's a lovely stroll for hotel guests of all hiking abilities, no doubt. I did get a kick out of some of the signage along the route; a wee bit depressing, yes?
It was a forest-y route, with vertical lines dominating; lovely large ferns abounded and there were sparkling streams to cross. We enjoyed occasional glimpses of the surrounding mountains, but they were not the stars of the scenery today.
Finally, we reach the "hand tram." The only other "hand tram" experience Keith and I have had was over a rocky river, about 15 years ago. That tram was quite low to the water, and one sat in it. This tram was a wee bit more elevated:
Eek! I'm certainly curious what sort of maintenance program is in place for the tram. There was no official attendant for our mode of transport.
So, on to the fair:
"To where the water tastes like wine!"
Enjoying music, roasted corn, gyros, and lemonade...
Hula-hooping to the music...
Wares for sale...
Chillin' at the playground; it was adjacent to a terrific skate park, which was full of activity.